Celebrating Pumpkins at the Eureka Pumpkin Festival

Autumn is a beautiful time of year in Illinois when the leaves on the trees change from green to a wild display of colors, the crops in the fields are completing their lifecycle and are ready for harvest, and wildflowers such as goldenrod are putting out their final, golden blooms.

To celebrate this wonderful time of year,  in 1939, the Eureka Community Association, of Eureka, Illinois organized the first Eureka Pumpkin Festival. Originally billed as a way to boost the local economy after the Great Depression, the Eureka Pumpkin Festival was a successful community festival that celebrated pumpkins and the people of Eureka, IL, and lasted from that first festival in 1939 to 1961.

The Eureka Public Library District has nearly 300 photographs and scans of pamphlets and recipe books that document the festival over the years.

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Dickinson & Company, Eureka, Illinois. Dick’s Kitchen About Custard Pumpkin: How Manufactured How Used In Cooking. 1922. Eureka Public Library. Permission to display was given by Dr. Junius Rodriguez.

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